I really meant to attend this session, which was at noon GMT today. I haven’t been to work since last Thursday because of snow; we are experiencing our second major storm of the week as I write this. But I forgot that I had to subtract five hours and get up at 7 am, so I missed it. Darn!!!
Anyway, now I am listening to the recording and wishing I were participating in the chat along with Vance, Joel, and Berta, so I decided to make my comments here as I listen.
Mike began his session by reminding us how inconvenient it used to be to show a video or movie or share a photograph with students back in the 80s. I so remember that! Watching a movie was a major undertaking back then. I remember once having beginning students bring in family photos and talk about who was in the photo; but of course no one else could really see the photos in any detail.
Something odd going on with Elluminate… Mike launched a YouTube video, but Vance couldn’t see it, so they were talking over the video. It reminds me that our new technologies can be equally challenging to work with! They don’t always work as we think they will.
Mention of Andrew Keen’s book “The Cult of the Amateur” reminds me that I still haven’t watched that famous Keen-Weinberger debate! Another to-do item.
Mike mostly skips his slide about blogs, podcasts, wikis, flickr etc. because the group is so small. Wonder how many people, like me, will be listening asynchronously; maybe he should not have assumed a small audience. It was only a small interactive audience.
Kinds of literacies: Pegrum’s 5 lenses (technological, pedagogical, social, sociopolitical, ecological, rhetorical, functional, critical, print, information, search, media…. Does multiliteracy encompass all of these? I think so, that is how I see it.
Is it possible to teach all of these? (And is it our role as ESL or EFL teachers to teach them?) (But whose role then?)
Mike suggests an ethical lens to add to Mark Pegrum’s many lenses, bringing together Pegrum’s culture, class, and identity lenses. He asks, What values determine how you teach? One value that determines how I teach is my belief in cultural relativity. My ideal is to accept and tolerate different beliefs and customs. I do not succeed totally; for example, I am unable to be neutral about things I feel strongly about, like women’s rights, female genital mutilation, and religious intolerance. I think I would not want to accept such things. But I try never to assume that students want to (or should) adopt American values or customs.( Then again, there is the value of academic honesty: I do teach them not to plagiarize; at least I try. I try to explain to them what the underlying value is, but at the same time I let them know that for them, the disadvantage of plagiarism is that they might get caught and expelled from the university. A practical emphasis, in other words.)
Mike ends with the thought that it is not necessary for teachers to be literate in all of these different areas, but we can still encourage our students to use these varied tools to produce work, as long as it fulfills the objective for the task. Since I always feel like I can never catch up with all the new (and old) and evolving technologies, this makes me feel good! 🙂
Mike’s take on edupunk: he isn’t one! He finds the label provocative but not very useful. Vance thinks there have to be people who “get out there and do things”, whatever you call them. “You need to do what you think is right.” I agree, but do not consider myself a “change agent” in this way–I am much too cowardly.
Mike ends with the thought that teachers who focus on formal learning spaces, mass learning, competition, restricted and constructed learning, instruction and content need to shift their focus more toward informal learning spaces, personalized learning, collaborative learning and assessment, creative and extended learning, personal author and innovator and knowledge and understanding. We will serve our students better if we do.
Thanks, Mike, for an informative session. I am really sorry I missed it.